A garden in Karnataka’s Davangere is the site for the next part of our series on public spaces named after Hindustani musicians.

Named after the celebrated Kirana gharana vocalist, the Gangubai Hangal Public Park. is situated a few hours both from Dharwad, the city in which she was born, and from Hubli, the city where she lived for many years.

Initiated in music by her mother Ambabai and also trained by Hudugur Krishnacharya, she rose to prominence as a disciple of the Kirana gharana maestro Rambhau Kundgolkar, more popularly known as Sawai Gandharva.

In a career spanning several decades, Gangubai Hangal’s voice underwent a dramatic change after she underwent a throat surgery. The 78 rpm discs recorded in this period reveal that Gangubai Hangal’s tonic in the 1930s was higher and the tonal quality of the voice was thinner than the voice that most people in succeeding decades were accustomed to listening.

On the early records, she was known as Gandhari Hangal. Here is recording from that period with a composition in the raag Adana set to a fast-paced 16-matra Teentaal.


Hangal’s early recordings were popular and were also broadcast on the radio at the time as is evident from the list of commercial recordings provided in the All India Radio’s publication Indian Listener dated November 22, 1936.

Although her early recordings included various musical forms, Gangubai Hangal focused on khayal thereafter. The next track contains a rendition of the raag Yaman. She sings two compositions, the first in a slow 12-matra Ektaal followed by a drut or fast composition in Teentaal.

She is accompanied by her brother Sheshgiri Hangal on the tabla and vocal support is provided by her daughter Krishna Hangal.


We conclude with a presentation of the raag Darbari Kanada. Gangubai Hangal sings a vilambit or slow composition in Ektaal followed by a drut composition in Teentaal.


One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a widely recognised performer, teacher, composer and scholar of Hindustani music. Visit his website here.